'Gone Curling' goes global

Take a couple of science students, their cinematic talents, and Naseby's curling culture and you have a Dunedin documentary in the running for international film festival accolades.

Rachael Patching and Roland Kahurangi made Gone Curling as part of their masters in science communication at the University of Otago.

The documentary focused on how climate change could affect curling in Central Otago.

It was selected last week from 491 entries from 44 countries as one of three finalists in the newcomers section of the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol, England.

Miss Patching said they were amazed at the international recognition and were looking forward to the festival in October.

What made the documentary special was the subtle approach in confronting important issues, she said.

"That was part of our goal, making a film that wasn't telling people off for how we live our lives. It was more celebrating a culture and showing what was at stake in terms of our environmental responsibilities."

She said they wanted to reach a new audience with Gone Curling.

"It was appealing to the Southern man because they're the men who get out on the ice. We wanted to get a different bunch of people asking similar questions [to environmentalists]."

Earlier in the year, the pair won the best New Zealand emerging talent at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival and the best short-film award at the Documentary Edge Film Festival.

University of Otago's director for science communication, Prof Lloyd Davis, ranked the Wildscreen Festival as the best environmental film festival in the world and the hardest to get into.

He said students with little money were holding their own against established, funded, film-makers.

"It's an opportunity to network with film-makers, producers, directors and broadcasters, and is particularly good for talent like Rachel and Roland, because they're newcomers to the scene. It'll be their opportunity to both meet people, and pitch ideas for their next film."

The pair have also entered Gone Curling in the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Shnit Film Festival in Switzerland, and International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.


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